Authors, social media and digital burnout

22 February 2022 / By Nigel Cooper

Digital burnout is something we’re all increasingly aware of in our own lives, so it was really interesting to see this article in The Guardian about the ever-increasing pressure on music artists to produce more and more social media content. 

The requirement is relentless, so much so, artists like Charli XCX have left social media altogether because of the negative effect it had on her mental health. 

As an author and ‘normal person’, I can still relate – I’m currently taking a Twitter break (and do so at least twice a year) so I can catch my breath.

The relentless drive to make mobile phones and social media more addictive means we all feel the effects of digital burnout… it is NOT only an issue for social media influencers, celebrities and pop stars.

Social media is now a primary marketing tool for an increasing number of businesses, industries and their employees.

Take publishing. For a long time, a good social media following has been expected of non-fiction authors, almost a prerequisite for publication. Fiction is hot on its heels, though.

Celebrity authors are on the increase (because they have a ready-made platform). 

More and more fiction authors are now expected to develop a Twitter following, have an Instagram presence, become part of BookTok on TikTok. Be responsible for their own marketing.

It’s fast becoming another box authors need to tick when submitting a manuscript to agents and publishers on top of a great novel.

I was naive when my first novel Beat The Rain was published in 2016. I genuinely assumed once I had a book deal that I’d hand over my manuscript and the rest would, by and large, be taken care of.

I was wrong. This isn’t the reality for most authors nowadays, even the lucky few that have a lot of weight and money thrown behind their titles by their publisher. (Not a complaint – I’ve been very lucky – only an observation).

The reality is, fiction authors NEED to develop a social media presence nowadays – a great book that meets the requirements a publisher or agent is looking for at that time isn’t enough.

For a lot of authors, this is a pretty stressful notion… but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Indeed I think it can be a GREAT thing. 

But it needs to be managed properly, with care and attention.

AuthorSpark aims to make it easier, with courses that authors can take at their own pace, easy daily actions to build a presence that don’t overwhelm and a platform and mobile app that helps to make posting quick, easy and trackable.

We’ll help you manage how to post, when to post… and crucially, when to step away. 

Managing social media effectively and healthily for authors is exactly why we do what we do. 

Social media will continue to be an increasingly big part of all of our personal and professional lives but it shouldn’t be overwhelming or all-consuming for anyone – and it doesn’t have to be.

Note: this article was first featured as a post on Nigel Cooper’s Linked in profile.

About The Author

Nigel Cooper

Nigel’s debut novel Beat The Rain was a semi-finalist for Best Debut Author in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016. His second novel The Pursuit of Ordinary was a finalist in the People’s Book Prize for Fiction 2019. It was also one of the 8-12 titles ‘called in’ for the Man Booker Prize, a first for his publisher. It was also long-listed for The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize. His third novel will be released in September 2022 and is now available for pre-order. Nigel brings his own experience of the trials of getting published, building an author profile and marketing his own novels to AuthorSpark. As well as co-founding AuthorSpark, Nigel co-founded digital marketing agency and employee advocacy platform We Are Togethr alongside Andrew, alongside online content sister company Togethr Lab. Prior to that he was a newspaper subeditor and a writer and editor for Channel 4 Interactive.

Leave a Comment
*Please complete all fields correctly

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.